Spur of the mo­ment

Midland Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

A STATE Gov­ern­ment depart­ment op­er­at­ing out of Mid­land is shak­ing off the stuffy, ar­chaic im­age of the sec­tor to de­velop a bur­geon­ing rep­u­ta­tion as one of WA’s premier startup tech hubs.

LANDGATE, which is based out of Mid­land, is fast devel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as one of WA’s premier start-up tech­nol­ogy hubs.

SPUR tech­nol­ogy op­er­ates out of Landgate and of­fers of­fice space and com­mer­cial men­tor­ing to busi­nesses to de­velop ideas us­ing lo­ca­tion-driven data.

The hub is of­fer­ing grants of up to $25,000 to start-up busi­nesses, a move that gen­eral man­ager Peter Markham says is help­ing to ac­cel­er­ate WA’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the dig­i­tal econ­omy.

“We are bring­ing all th­ese start-ups to Mid­land so we are devel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a tech hub,” he said.

“We are at­tract­ing peo­ple from other in­cu­ba­tors out to Mid­land who re­alise they have this won­der­ful re­source on their doorstep.”

Mr Markham said last year’s in­au­gu­ral SPUR on WA pro­gram gen­er­ated 47 ap­pli­ca­tions, with nine busi­nesses awarded grants to help them progress their ideas.

“The grants can be used to­wards de­vel­op­ment costs, in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion, ob­tain­ing busi­ness, fi­nan­cial, or mar­ket­ing ad­vice and ac­cess­ing lo­ca­tion data,” he said.

“Those who are suc­cess­ful we men­tor and give them space to work in our Mid­land of­fice which al­lows them to work side by side with our tech em­ploy­ees.

“In­stead of them wait­ing weeks and weeks to talk to the peo­ple they need to, they are right here.”

Mr Markham said SPUR was born out of frus­tra­tion from busi­nesses who were ham­pered in their ef­forts to ac­cess gov­ern­ment data.

“We saw all th­ese peo­ple want­ing ac­cess to gov­ern­ment data and not be­ing able to do so or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the frus­tra­tion of go­ing from agency to agency and fac­ing long waits to ob­tain the in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

“So we thought, let’s open up our data and use our plat­forms as a one-stop 24/7 shop.”

Busi­nesses can ap­ply for the sec­ond round of SPUR on WA grants, un­til Oc­to­ber 6.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d473724

Landgate SPUR man­ager Peter Markham out­side the Mid­land of­fice.

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